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How to Sell?

How to Sell a Car with a Blown Engine: 13 Companies That Will Buy It

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Written by: Michael Becker
Last Updated:

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Key Takeaways

  • Selling a car with a blown engine is possible through companies like Peddle, Wheelzy, CarBrain, and DamagedCars. These companies provide instant quotes, free towing, and the ability to pay by check upon pickup, usually within 48 hours.
  • The value of a car with a blown engine depends on factors such as make, model, and overall condition, ranging from under $400 to more than $2,000. Common causes of engine failure include lack of oil, overheating, or physical damage.
  • When selling a financed car with a blown engine, consider paying off the loan and repairing the engine if the car is relatively new. Otherwise, sell it as-is to companies like Wheelzy or CarBrain, which will pay off the loan balance and transfer the remaining money to you.

Best for Older & Damaged Cars

Peddle logo

Buys used, damaged or junk cars

Free tow and no hidden fees

Pays by ACH trasfer or check

Top Pick for Junk Cars

Wheelzy logo

Free, no-obligation cash offers

Offers free paperwork service

Pays on the spot upon pick up

Highly Rated by Customers

CarBrain logo

Excellent customer service ratings

Honors guaranteed offer for 7 days

Can pick up a car within 48 hours

Great for Low-Mileage Cars

Carvana logo

Gives a real offer in 2 minutes

100% hassle-free online process

Free car’s Value Tracker available

How Did I Sell My Car with a Blown Engine

A few years ago, my wife drove her 2005 Honda Civic back home from work and noticed an engine error light on the dashboard. Soon after, the engine started to sound suspicious, and light grey/bluish smoke appeared from the car hood.

Apparently, an oil filter had cracked, and leaking oil caused a blown engine. After inspection, my mechanic evaluated that repair would cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500.

As per Kelley Blue Book, the market price for similar vehicles with engine damage was around $574, so fixing a car was not an option.

I knew selling privately would be a hassle, so I filled out an online form at Peddle and Wheelzy. Peddle made a higher offer of $500 which was more than reasonable compared to the market value.

I took the time to contact other dealerships, but none could match or beat Peddle’s offer.

I accepted Peddle’s offer and the car was picked up the next day.

Best Places to Sell a Car with Blown Engine:

1. Peddle

Peddle Summary

  • Sell used, damaged or junk car nationwide
  • Free towing within 48 hours after offer
  • Receive payment upon car collection
  • Get free online quote – offer valid 7 days
  • Instant quote available on (855) 925 4302
  • No obligation to accept the offer

Selling a car, especially one with a blown engine, is possible through companies like Peddle. Since the company started as a removal service for junk vehicles, it buys cars regardless of make, model, and condition.

Peddle’s free towing service makes it preferable, removing all the stress of moving a non-driving vehicle out of your garage. You can also initiate the sale through an online form on their website. 

Peddle buys cars in all 50 states, providing an option to places that typically don’t have car-buying companies. This company is also ideal if you want to get paid the same day they pick up your car.

2. Wheelzy

Wheelzy Summary

  • Wheelzy stores are open 7 days a week
  • Get offer in minutes – (855) 510-1108
  • Free towing of your car from your location
  • Instant payment via cash or check

Wheelzy advertises three easy steps to sell your car, even if it has a blown engine. Through their website, you can fill out a form about your vehicle and its condition. Depending on the information you provide, you’ll receive an instant offer. 

Additionally, Wheelzy allows you to list your car on their website. Then, their partner dealerships can send you offers and you can choose where to sell your vehicle. 

Either way, Wheelzy can provide a free pick-up service, saving you money on paid towing services.

3. CarBrain

CarBrain Summary

  • Call for a free quote – (844) 407-2200
  • Get cash for your car in under 48 hours
  • CarBrain buys cars in over 7 conditions
  • Up to 7 days to accept CarBrain’s offer
carbrain points

CarBrain is among the companies that purchase vehicles in nearly any condition, including with engine issues. It features an online process where you can learn how much they’ll buy your car for. 

Knowing that many cars they purchase are not driving, CarBrain offers free pick-up, and you can schedule them to get your car. Finally, CarBrain hands out check payments before towing your car away. 

If you’re not available during the pick-up time, they can also mail in your check. Because selling with CarBrain is so efficient, you can expect a turnaround time of up to 48 hours only.

4. DamagedCars Summary

  • Get paid within 24 to 48 hours
  • No need to go junkyard & negotiate deals
  • Higher pay than any other local junkyard
  • Offer within 90 seconds

Another company that buys vehicles in any condition, including engine failure, is DamagedCars. As CarBrain’s parent company, DamagedCars has extensive coverage in the US, providing an easy process to sell your car. 

It advertises a streamlined selling process, from getting an instant offer in 90 seconds to completing the sale in 48 hours. Moreover, the instant offer you’ll get is valid for 7 days, so you’ll still have time to check out offers from other car-buying companies.

But what really sets DamagedCars apart is that its offers are usually higher than what you can get from selling to local junkyards.  

5. The Clunker Junker

The Clunker Junker Summary

  • Get an online offer within 5 minutes
  • 100% payment guarantee for your junk car
  • A free towing service is provided
  • Receive payment on the spot via check

When it comes to selling cars with a blown engine, The Clunker Junker is one of the top places to consider. The company specializes in junk cars and is more than prepared to pick up vehicles that don’t drive. Moreover, it buys cars across all 50 states in the US. 

Selling your vehicle to them starts with getting an instant offer on their website. Then, you can schedule for them to pick up your car. The company partners with local tow services that can pick up your car within 24 hours. 

Additionally, the local tow service assigned to pick up your vehicle will also hand you the payment, either in check or cash. 

6. We Buy Any Car USA

We Buy Any Car Summary

  • Instant offers within minutes
  • Buys almost any vehicle
  • No fees if you have no finance on the vehicle
  • A+ BBB platform rating

We Buy Any Car USA couldn’t have said it any better, as it’s surely one of the companies that will take your car with a busted engine and pays you within the same day. You can get an instant offer by completing an online form on their website.

However, you’ll need to bring your vehicle to one of their locations for inspection and final offer. With this requirement, you can complete the sale within the same day you bring your car to them. 

This is quite advantageous compared to other companies that make you wait for up to 3 days to pick up your vehicle.

7. Pick-n-Pull

Pick-n-Pull Summary

  • Fast selling process
  • Recycles parts and scrap metal
  • Accepts vehicles in all conditions
  • Vehicle removed for free

Pick-n-Pull is a company that works with a network of junkyards in selected cities in the US. It features an online process to sell your car, regardless of its condition. 

On their website, you can list your car with a blown engine and receive offers from junkyards near you. Once you accept an offer, you can set up a pick time with the local junkyard. You’ll also receive the payment before they take your car away.

Since offers come from their local partners, the time it takes to sell your car can be as fast as 1 day.

8. Junk My Car

Junk My Car Summary

  • Powered by Peddle
  • You get an instant offer
  • Towing your car is completely free
  • Cash when the tow truck arrives

Junk My Car is one of the companies in the US that especially buys damaged and junk vehicles. It works with local tow services, ensuring quick pick-up times (within 48 hours) when you sell your car to them. 

Like other car-buying companies, however, it features a website where you can get an instant offer. However, a Junk My Car representative will inspect your vehicle to confirm its condition before providing you with a final offer.

If you have everything ready, such as the keys and required documents, you can accept the final offer and get paid on the spot.

9. USJunkCars

USJunkCars Summary

  • Speedy transactions
  • Same-day pickup available
  • Free pickups
  • Get cash immediately upon pickup

USJunkCars is a company that buys cars in any condition. It operates in around 1,460 cities in the US, making it one of the top choices to sell cars with a blown engine. 

You can get an instant offer to sell your car by completing an online form or calling their hotline. Either way, USJunkCars will pick up your vehicle at no cost and complete the sale within 24 hours. 

Besides the quick selling process, USJunkCars offers three payment options: cash, money order, or a check.

10. Junk Car Medics

Junk Car Medics Summary

  • Higher potential value due to demand for parts
  • Easy, fast collection within a couple of days
  • Quotes within a few minutes
  • Online quote generator is simple and easy to use

Junk Car Medics is a largely popular car recycling company in the US. It claims that over 86% of junk cars can be recycled, making it one of the places to sell your car with a blown engine. 

Moreover, the company deals with junk cars in an environmentally efficient way. Besides getting some cash for your vehicle, you’ll also be contributing to the long-term goal of making Earth greener. 

As for the process of selling your car, you can start by getting an instant quote through their website. Then, you can schedule a pick-up within 2 days and Junk Car Medics will pay you the same day they pick up your car.

11. Junk Car Masters

Junk Car Masters Summary

  • You can get an instant quote online
  • It includes a free towing service
  • You can get a quote over phone
  • Selling process takes only 48 hours

As long as you still have the title, Junk Car Masters is one of the companies you can sell your car with a blown engine. By calling its hotline at 855-925-7144, you can talk to one of its representatives and get an instant offer for your vehicle.

Also, you can set up a pick-up date and time, letting you prepare the car and documents to finalize the sale. As it works with CarBrain, selling your car to Junk Car Masters can only take up to 48 hours. 

But if you’re looking to check out other companies on this list first, note that Junk Car Master’s offers are valid for 7 days. If unclaimed after this period, you’ll need to request an instant quote again.

12. JunkCarsUS

JunkCarsUs Summary

  • Free pickup service
  • No paperwork
  • No assessment fees
  • Buys vehicle in any condition

JunkCarsUS buys cars in nearly any condition, making it one of the choices to sell cars with a blown engine. It has a user-friendly website where you can complete a request for an instant quote. Once you have it, JunkCarsUS allows you to schedule the pick-up time.

Upon their arrival, the JunkCarsUS representative will confirm the condition of your vehicle and pay you cash. Some of the vehicles you can sell to them are sedans, SUVs, pick-ups, hatchbacks, trucks, and RVs. 

Besides the extensive list of vehicles they purchase, JunkCarsUS also offers same-day removal and zero paperwork. 

13. Cash For Clunkers 

Cash For Clunkers Summary

  • Hassle-free and quick process
  • Free pickup
  • No paperwork
  • Buys vehicles in any condition

Initially a project of the Obama administration in 2009, Cash For Clunkers is one of the best options for selling a car with a blown engine. It works pretty straightforward. Just go to their website on your mobile phone or computer’s internet browser.

Then, you’ll need to provide specific details about your car. Cash For Clunkers will then send you their best offer instantly. If you’re ready to proceed with selling your vehicle, you can arrange for pick-up, even on the same day. 

You’ll also get cash right before they take your vehicle away.

How Much is a Car with a Blown Engine Worth?

how much is a car with a blown engine worth

The value of a car with a blown engine depends on multiple factors and can range from under $400 to more than $2,000. It all depends on the car’s make, model and overall condition.

Average prices of cars with blown engines:

Vehicle modelYearMilesDamagePrice
Ford Ranger2004 122,000 milesEngine, does not start$300
Mitsubishi Outlander2006175,000 milesEngine, does not start$325
Cadillac SRX2008145,000 milesEngine, does not start$450
BMW 3 series2007145,000 milesEngine, does not start$600

What Causes Engine to Blow?

There are a number of factors that can cause a motor to blow, but some of the most common causes are lack of oil, overheating or physical damage.

Main reasons for blow engine:

  • A cracked oil filter – this will lead to oil leakage. Low levels of oil courses higher friction and wear on the engine’s moving parts, which will eventually cause the engine to seize up
  • A blown head gasket is a common problem that can occur when the gasket between the engine block and the cylinder head cracks or warps. In this case, coolant leaks into the engine oil or vice versa and causes the engine to overheat
  • A cracked cylinder – is usually a result of an overheated engine or if there is a manufacturing defect. A cracked cylinder allows coolant or oil to leak into the combustion chamber, which causes the engine to misfire or seize up.
  • Worn piston rings – piston rings are responsible for sealing the combustion chamber and preventing oil from leaking into the cylinders. If the piston rings are worn, they can allow oil to leak into the cylinders, which can cause the engine to smoke and lose power.
  • Low compression – can lead to overheating if the engine is not burning fuel efficiently. Several things, including worn piston rings, a cracked head gasket, or a leaking intake manifold, can cause low compression.
  • Engine knocking – indicates a problem with the pistons, bearings, or other components.
  • Overrevving – can cause the pistons to slam into the cylinder walls, damaging the pistons, cylinders, and other components, leading to a blown engine
  • Engine misfires – this can cause the engine to run rough and inefficiently, leading to overheating. Bad spark plugs, a faulty ignition coil, or a clogged fuel injector usually cause this.

How to Sell a Financed Car With a Blown Engine?

how to sell a financed car with a blown engine

If you own a financed car that has a blown engine, you have a few options: pay to have the engine repaired or replaced, trade in the car, sell it online, part it out or declare it a total loss.

If you still have an outstanding loan to pay off but have additional money to pay for engine repair or replacement, that would be a wise decision, especially if your car is relatively new.

If you can’t afford engine repair costs, the best option would be to sell the car as it is. You can expect to get the best offer selling vehicle privately with a loan.

In this case, your best option would be selling the car online to companies like Wheelzy, Carbrain or Carmax. After you accept the offer, the company will pay off your loan’s balance and transfer the rest of the money to you.

Should You Fix the Engine?

should you fix the engine

When repairing the car’s engine, the biggest issue is the time needed to fix it. First of all, you will need to hire an experienced mechanic and pay for replacement parts and mechanics’ time.

How long it will take to fix the blown engine depends on the severity of the malfunction and the mechanics’ experience. On average, it can take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours.

The average hourly rate of experienced mechanics in the US is $75 to $130, meaning you would pay from $750 to $2,600 for a person’s work alone.

In most cases, a blown engine cannot be safely repaired or it is a financially poor decision but can be replaced. Prices of new engines vary from $4,000 for a V4 engine to $7,000 or more for a V8 engine.

If your car is relatively new and has a high value, it may be worth repairing the engine. However, if your car is older and has a lower value, it may not be worth the cost.

If you decide to fix the blown engine:

  • Consider the cost of repairs
  • Check the availability of the parts
  • Count labor costs
  • Check if the warranty is available

People Also Asked

What car parts are the most expensive?

The most expensive parts are the most essential for the operation of a car. If one of these parts fails, it can cause major problems with your car and could even lead to a breakdown, such as a blown engine.

The most expensive car parts:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Catalytic converter
  • Head gasket
  • Timing belt

The price of these parts depends on either if it’s new or used and the exact make and model of the vehicle.

PartAverage price
Engine$4,000 – $10,000
Transmission$1,800 – $3,400
Catalytic converter$300 – $1,650
Head gasket$715 – $832
Timing belt$100 – $350

How to know if an engine is blown?

The most obvious sign that the engine has failed is if your car turns but does not start. Another indication is visible white, blue or black smoke from the engine. This could mean a blown head gasket or a cracked engine block.

White smoke means that the engine is burning coolant, blue smoke indicates that the engine is burning oil, and black smoke is a sign of an issue with the engine’s combustion process when it’s receiving too much fuel.

To avoid engine damage:

  • Check the oil level regularly
  • Check the coolant level regularly
  • Inspect the engine for leaks
  • Have the engine compression tested

Can I trade in my car with a blown engine to a dealer?

Yes, you can trade in your car with a broken engine to a dealer. However, you should expect to receive a very low offer. Dealers are in the business of selling cars, and they are not interested in buying cars that they cannot resell.

The better option is to sell the car to Peddle, Wheelzy or Carbrain.

Can the blown engine be repaired?

Depending on the severity of the damage, a blown engine can be repaired. If the damage is minor, such as a blown head gasket, the engine can usually be repaired for a reasonable cost.

However, the repair cost may be disproportionately high if the damage is severe. In this case, selling the car would be a financially better decision than engine repair.

Who buys cars with blown engines?

The engine accounts for only about 20-30% of the car’s value, so even if it’s damaged car is still pretty valuable.

Places like junkyards or scrap yards will buy such cars with the goal of dismantling them and selling the parts individually. Moreover, plenty of precious metals can be sold as scrap metal.

Used car dealers and online car-buying services like Peddle also buy such cars, repair them and then resell them.

Private buyers are also potential buyers. Hobbyists, car enthusiasts, or DIY mechanics may be interested in buying a car with a blown engine, either for parts or as a project to repair and possibly resell.

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Michael Becker


About the author:

Michael Becker is a car enthusiast and expert who has been working in the automotive industry for over 15 years. He started his career as a salesperson at a local dealership, where he learned the ins and outs of the car market. Then he moved on to flipping cars for a profit.

Michael has also helped many of his relatives and friends to sell their cars, using his knowledge and skills to get them the best deals. He will guide you through the process and help you avoid the common pitfalls.

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